Learn how to easily break down a whole chicken like a pro. It’s much easier than you think to break down a chicken and only takes about 10 minutes.
Course Main Course
Keyword chicken, whole chicken
Prep Time 10minutes
Total Time 10minutes
Large cutting board preferably carving size
sharp chef knife
kitchen shears optional
Clear out counter space to work with raw chicken safely and get a large plastic cutting board.
Remove The Legs:
To do that, slowly pull the thigh away from the body and slice the skin between the thigh and the body. Don’t cut all the way through but get close to the bone.
Feel around for the joint and once you find the joint, pull it up and down to pop the hip bone out of the joint. Cut through the remaining meat and skin to separate the leg.
Do the same thing with the other leg.
Separate Thighs and Drumsticks:
To separate each leg into a drumstick and thigh, make a cut where the joint is between the drum and thigh. Find the joint and pop it out. Cut through the rest of the meat and skin.
Remove The Wings:
Slowly pull the wing away from the body and slice the skin between the wing and the body. Feel around for the joint and once you find the joint, pull it up and down to pop the shoulder bone out of the joint. Cut through the remaining meat and skin to separate the wing off.
Remove The Back Bone:
Stand chicken up, neck side down. Cut through the middle between the front and the back. You may need to use a heavy chef knife of a cleaver to cut through the rib bones and all the way down. Another way to cut it is by using kitchen shears. Use the method that you feel the most comfortable with.
Set the back part aside but do not discard. You can use it to make chicken stock and soup.
Separate The Breast In Two:
Place the beasts on the cutting board skin side down to easily see the bone. Cut through in the middle to separate the breasts in two. You will need to put a little muscle into it to cut through the bone. Cleaver is another tool you can use to cut through the bone.
Optional - Split Each Breast Half:
Cut each breast in half to create smaller quarters. Since chicken breasts are larger than thighs, cutting them in half will help cook them evenly in the same amount of time at the thighs.
Optional - Remove The Wish Bone:
Remove wish bone at the neck next. Feel around to find the wish bone and separate it off the meat with your hands. Pull it out and discard.